Monday, February 17, 2014

175. Taiwan Day 7: The Warmth of A Taiwanese Breakfast / 台式早餐的溫暖 (New Taipei: Yonghe District / 新北市: 永和區)

Despite late night drinking and embarrassing events that need not be mentioned, early morning breakfast in Taiwan cannot be missed.  Bacon, hash browns and coffee are not quite the staple here, but a Taiwanese breakfast still offers a blend of protein, carbohydrates and a soothing beverage that warms the soul and prepares anyone for the daily grind.  Diana and I stopped by World Soy Milk King (世界豆漿大王) to get our traditional soy milk breakfast before starting our day.

There are plenty of choices when it comes to Taiwanese breakfast, and many choose a rolled rice burrito called fantuan to much on for their morning meal.  Diana and I, however, like something a little less filling.  We prefer a folded flatbread topped with sesame called shaobing.  Some like to add the crispy Chinese cruller known as youtiao between the folds of the bread, but we decided to sandwich our sesame shaobing with a savory omelette style egg instead.  The toasty exterior tickles my toes... and the egg inside of it could become preferred substitute for the blaring alarm clock.

We also ordered a duo of steamed buns called baozi, a pork and vegetable one for me and a vegetarian version for Diana.

There's nothing quite like prying open a fluffy, pillowy, white round of steamed bread to find a packed ball of savory pork product in the middle.  Ahhh... this is the moment that really warms your soul.

I love to have eggs in the morning.  My American upbringing almost requires it.  In Taiwan, eggs are not often scrambled the way they are back home, they are somewhat folded, similar to how we would have eggs over easy... but not quite.  Rather than dousing scrambled eggs with ketchup or Tabasco, soy sauce is often drizzled over the top instead, and it often flows into the lava like goo of the runny golden yolk.  Oh, hell yeah.

A personal favorite, though, is still the grilled daikon cake.  If the small plates of food haven't quite filled you up yet, these floppy squares of pureed radish surely will.  They are not the most sightly of the Taiwanese breakfast options; in fact, a lot of traditional items are white or yellow colored... but the cakes remind me almost of hash browns with slightly crisp edges that I know everyone likes.

If you are skeptical about breakfast being the most important meal of the day, perhaps a stop by a traditional soy milk shop in the morning will change your perspective.  But if you can't yourself up as the sun rises in the east, no worries.  Many soy milk shops like this one are open 24 hours a day. 

Until next time, let's all get S.O.F.A.T.

World Soy Milk King (世界豆漿大王)
No. 284, Yonghe Rd., Section 2, Yonghe District, New Taipei City

ML - 20130706

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